Hi team, Coach Hannah here.
I need to come clean with you about something: I am NOT a morning person.
A year ago, if you had told me that I would willingly get up at 5:30am Monday through Friday I would have laughed you out of the room.
I do. (I’m putting the finishing touches on this email at 6:18 am)
How the hell did I become a "morning person" ???
I did not start out this way, kiddos. For those who know me, you know I love to sleep. I do best with 8+ hours per night, every night. So I’m not making mornings happen by sacrificing sleep. Mama don’t play that sleep dep game. I’m hilarious when sleep deprived, but otherwise non-functional and I quickly get overwhelmed and think that the world is terrible and everything is wrong and it will never get better so let’s just eat M&Ms and potato chips until we die.
I start teaching at 6:30am. That means I need to be a) Alert b) Articulate and C) Charming AF by 6:30 in the freaking morning.
When this first became the truth of my professional existence, I resisted the early rise kicking and screaming. I would sleep until the LAST possible minute, roll outta bed already wearing workout clothes that I’d slept in, make coffee while barely conscious, and then bomb down the road to the gym riding my bike as fast as I could.
And it worked. Kinda.
The I’ll-be-late-if-I-don’t-pedal-as-fast-as-humanly-possible bike ride got my heart (and adrenaline) pumping. The coffee in my thermos gave me confidence that I would be able to string sentences together in front of my clients. And I told myself that sleeping as late as possible was the only sane thing to do, because getting up before 7am is just cruel so you should mitigate that shit as much as possible.
But during this year a funny thing happened. I began to resent my clients. Even though they were people I loved working with, I noticed my patience getting thinner and thinner. To the point where I was thinking about switching careers.
I wasn’t happy.
Then I heard about this book on a podcast called “The Miracle Morning” - if that sounds hokey to you, you are right on point.
I still can’t, in good conscience, recommend the book itself—the tone of the writing is the worst self-help-salesman-sunshine BS you can imagine. OMG it’s seriously the worst.
I was so unhappy that I was willing to try anything, so I ordered the book on amazon, convinced my S.O. to do it with me, and we started our “Miracle Morning” adventure.
Begrudgingly at first, we put the principles outlined in the book into practice.
The principles (Which I CAN WHOLEHEARTEDLY recommend, as as follows):
- Get up an hour earlier than you need to
- Preset a sequence of actions that will kickstart you into being awake (drink a glass of water, brush your teeth)
- Do 10 minutes each of 6 practices that are known to improve your happiness, and in turn your life (movement, meditation, journaling, visualization, reading, and affirmation)*
- Go about your day.
*I have since modified WHAT I do in that morning time, as I found that for me personally I feel rushed trying to cram in just 10 mins of each thing, but the habit of getting up early and doing something for myself first thing in the morning has stuck.
My work revolves around caring for other people. Being what they need for the hour that we are together. I know many of you can relate to this, even if your line of work is different in name, most of us SERVE OTHERS in our work. Parents really know what I’m talking about—you take care of tiny humans before you even GO to work. Bless you.
The old way I ran my life meant that I was taking care of other people from my first conscious moment until late afternoon. The first time I would do anything purely for myself was 5-6hrs into my day, when I already felt depleted.
This new routine flipped the order: I was taking care of MYSELF first thing, before I even thought about another human being.
Turns out putting yourself first is a powerful thing.
Just a week into implementing this new morning ritual, I felt clear headed. At that point, by body wasn’t yet agreeing to the new sleep schedule, which meant I was staying up later than I’d like and getting only 6-7hrs of sleep per night. But even with less sleep, I felt more rested. More calm. My patience came back. Stuff that used to make me feel overwhelmed suddenly seemed manageable. I actually wondered why I had been so stressed out.
Putting myself first changed the game.
Instead of feeling like a martyr who was sacrificing herself for the good of her flock, I felt like a whole person who was living by my principles. I no longer felt like a fraud.
Taking time out for yourself feels selfish (in theory, when you think about it) but it has turned out to be the most generous action I can take on a daily basis.
I thought 5am was the problem. That the literal time was so early as to force an unpleasant start to the day. I was so wrong. It was the quality of my experience that made the morning suck. Rushing, feeling stressed, being down to the wire with no time for mistakes.
What do we love about weekend mornings? It’s not the extra sleep. It’s not that 10am is magical. It’s that we allow ourselves the experience of waking up and responding to our own needs — or even whims — before we go on about our day. We do that naturally on days that we “don’t have to be anywhere at a specific time.”
Now that I understand that, I’m pretty confident that I could adjust to any wake up time (4am, 9am — whatever) as long as I set myself up to have the experience I need to start my day well.
If this resonates with you, but you’re like, how do I start? I get it. It's a process. It probably took me a year to get my morning routine (and appropriate bed time) dialed in.
We are thinking about making a video to help you start your morning with a little self love and joint care via simple movements that anyone can do. It would be a "do-along-with-me" video, and we are thinking 10 minutes max, so you can start small.
Would you use that if we made it?
Reply in the comments and say “ay.”
Top of the morning to ya,
P.S. This story went out to the awesome folks on our email list. If you want to hear more like it, sign up to get our emails. They're like a yoga class for your mind.
P.P.S Update as of March 19th, 2018 - we made that video we mentioned, you can get yourself a copy here.